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Match Preview: Dragons vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-01-28

Leinster finished their European campaign the way the started it, by breaking records against Wasps. Unfortunately they were the wrong sort of records. After suffering their biggest European home defeat in their opening match against Wasps in the RDS, they registered their biggest ever defeat last weekend in Coventry. Now obviously rugby is a game where motivation is key and when it comes to the final round of games, you expect to see the teams with something to play for beat the teams only playing for pride. For many years, Leinster were the ones dealing out these sort of beatings. However it was shocking to see an all international team completely collapse the way they did in a second half which they lost 36-0. It was a reality check to the whole organisation that unless there's drastic improvement between now and next season, Leinster risk becoming perennial also-rans in Europe.
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Match Preview: Ospreys vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-01-28

Normally for Leinster the game at this time of year is a bit of a warm-up for key matches in the final two rounds of their European pool. However this season, the final two Champions Cup matches will be played only for Leinster's pride while tomorrow's game against the Ospreys is the key one. Last week's win at a drenched RDS put Leinster ahead of Connacht into second place in the table, just a point behind the Scarlets. With the Scarlets hosting Connacht this weekend, Leinster have a real chance to end the weekend as leaders, with a game in hand. As this is the last Pro12 game in which they'll have access to several of their top Irish internationals until after the Six Nations Championship, they need to make the most of their chance to beat the Ospreys.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Connacht Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-12-31

Well that was a nice surprise!

It's fair to say there wasn't a huge amount of confidence amongst the Leinster travelling support on the way down to Limerick last Sunday. Though Munster were also struggling for form, the general consensus was that home advantage might edge a tight contest for them. However Leinster produced their best performance of the season to win by seventeen points and suddenly things are looking a little brighter for the new year.
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Match Preview: Glasgow Warriors vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-12-04

Leinster got back to winning ways last week, even if once again the performance left a lot to be desired. The pack actually went pretty well and largely dominated but the chances they created were mostly squandered by some appalling handling from the backs. The handling skills in the squad have been poor for some time now and when you see how Connacht players, forwards and backs, handled the ball so well in their defeat of Munster, you really have to question Leinster's players and their coach's training methods. It's almost become the standard line after games these days for Leinster to talk of "poor execution" and they have only scored three tries in their last four games, not one of them from a back. It looks like they need a root and branch review of why their skills repeatedly let them down in the opposition twenty two.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Ulster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-11-27

These are tough times for Leinster rugby. After the defeat last week to Bath, they've now lost their opening two games in Europe for the first time since 1996. That was only the second season of the European Cup, but it was the first season that English clubs participated and in those days it did seem that the Irish provinces would be perennial also-rans. There was the odd big win at home like Leinster beating Leicester or Munster beating Wasps but just qualifying from the pool was tough enough, never mind winning the competition. It all changed in 1999 with Ulster's incredible win, albeit in a season where the English clubs boycotted the tournament. By the next season, Munster had gone all the way to the final, even with the English clubs involved, and between those two achievements there was now real belief in Irish rugby that they could compete with the best teams in Europe. It took a number of years and a few heartbreaks along the way but eventually the success arrived with five Heineken Cups in seven seasons between 2006 and 2012.
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